Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mom Jeans

The first time I heard the expression mom jeans it came from the lips of my lovely, ever chic daughter, Julie. She was determined to take me shopping for a pair of non-mom jeans, and I didn't have a clue what she was talking about.

Should there be doubt in anyone's mind, here's a graphic example:

No, not me, but it could be!
So I've tried to correct that faux pas, under Julie's gentle tutelage, and thought I was finally on the right side of the fashion police.


Real Simple, a wonderful magazine I often pick up in the grocery checkout line, proved how very wrong I was. Here's the thing: I'd like to live my life Really Simply (tagline: "LIFE MADE EASIER") but the January 2012 issue threw me for a loop.

The article in question is anti-aging style secrets. It lists 15 fashion no-no's that pile on the years. If there's one thing this 61-year-old woman doesn't need, it's self-sabotage on the aging front. Unfortunately, I fail on almost half of them. Follow me to the sorry but true confessions of a fashion failure.

What's aging you:  mom slacks

Well damn it, Julie, why didn't you just tell me when we were taking care of the mom jeans thing? Did you think I was just going to catch on?  Did you think it was too much for me to handle, all at once? According to Real Simple, "They're the office version of mom jeans, with a pleated front and a high waist."  Offhand, I'd say I have 7 pairs of these, mostly in black. Some are too short. I'm mortified.

What's aging you: underperforming undies

These include underpants with visible panty lines and a bra that is less than uplifting. This is going to get expensive, but I'm definitely not going to follow the parting line of advice from Charla Krupp, the author of How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better.  She recommends wearing "high waisted-bike shorts". She's kidding, right? Doesn't that sound kind of, well, sweaty? How does that high-waisted business work with jeans and dress pants that are now waisted somewhere south of the belly button?  And aren't they padded in the rear end? Dear-god-in-heaven, if there's one thing I don't need it's a bigger butt.

What does this remind me of?  Oh, that's right...a  GIRDLE!
What's aging you: playing it too safe

I always thought my style was classic, in an updated sort of way.  Then I read this "Tan pants, a cream shirt, brown shoes and you're out the door, right? Yawn."  That's my uniform! Apparently I'm "stuck in the fuddy-duddy zone." There weren't many good suggestions on how to correct this b-o-r-i-n-g look. Note to self: check in with Julie.

What's aging you: clinging to past trends

I didn't need to read any further to know that this described me to a T.  I have clothes that are 20 years old. Really. (I thought they were classics and they still look great. Well, to me they do)  The examples: "twin sets, nude stockings and mock turtlenecks".  Regarding the hose, the author suggests buying "opaque or textured tights or bare legs."  Here's what I hate: un-stockinged feet in my shoes, unless they're sandals.  Maybe I should get those footie things?

I don't think so
What's aging you: same bag, all the time

This was like a roundhouse kick to the gut:  "Schlepping a heavy black satchel, no matter what, even if it's the middle of July or you're at a fancy affair, says that you're set in your ways and unwilling to change with the times."  I have a wonderful, maybe 10-year-old, large black Coach tote that goes everywhere and does everything.

It looks something like this
You can cram all sorts of stuff in it: my Kindle, over-sized sunglasses case, gum, you name it. And did I mention it's a classic?

What's aging you: wide-leg cropped pants

The sad thing is, I know these are really unattractive, particularly given my, well, sturdy legs. But I thought maybe it was just the price you pay to be au courant.  Sigh.  The emperor really is naked: these pants are ugly, aging and out of style.  Fortunately, the Goodwill box is conveniently located near the grocery store.

And finally, the knockout punch:

What's aging you: workout clothes when you're not working out

Oh. My. God. The last vestige of comfort clothing has been torn off my back. Get this: "There's a time for fleece jackets, white cross-trainers, and oversize tees - and it's when you're on the treadmill or repainting the den, not when you're doing activities that don't make you break a sweat." Does it count that I live in Florida and break a sweat easily? No, I didn't think so. 

So how come Hilary Duff can get away with it? Oh, right.
This article came at a perfect time: I'm clearing out my closet as we prepare to move to North Carolina. Now I'll be able to fit everything into a small overnight bag. Unless there's a shopping trip in my future. 

Julie: Come home! I need you!


  1. Spot on! If that's the alternative, I'd rather just look old. (And Spanx looks creepily like those girdles we had to wear in order to hold up our first pairs of "hose"!)

    But wasn't there also a section about wearing 3" heels for errands to the vet?

    1. Oh, that goes without saying, doesn't it? Doesn't everyone wear 3" heels to the vet?!?

      I have friends who swear by Spanx, but I think I'd just swear AT them.

      I really do love my sweat pants and baggy t-shirt. Wearing 'em right now and I'm not even sweating!

  2. Really neat Blog Pat! You hit the nail on the head with this piece on what not to wear! PS, you will see I am following your blog as 'Shug'. My nom de google.

    1. Thanks, Lynn. Great to have you aboard!

  3. I loooove this article, Patty! I see where your daughter gets her eloquent prose from! I'm really glad that julie chose to emulate her mother's honest, articulate writing---and not her twin sets and "classic" khaki and cream combinations! ;)
    With love,

    1. Thank you, Suzy - I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, Julie definitely ended up with the best of the gene set :-) XOX